Do you feel a struggle every time you have to do something for your kids?
Do you feel like you are on the hamster wheel of parenting?
Well, you are not alone. Most Moms feel that way at some time or another (if they say they don’t their lying).
But, what if I told you that you don’t have to feel depleted? Would you believe me?
I think us as parents feel that we have to be suffering to show ourselves that we are the best Moms around. If we aren’t exhausted, sacrificing our needs for our kids, then were terrible Moms.
Well, I am here to tell you that you are crazy. Sorry…..not crazy, just wrong. If you are not taking care of yourself and tending to the needs and likes for you, then eventually you will drive yourself into the world of insanity, if you’re not there already.
Let’s break the stereotypes for Moms.
Let’s break that mentality and take back what’s rightfully ours, “Me” time. I promise, you will feel so much better as a Mom, which makes for a happier Mom to the kiddos at home.
Step 1: Put on Your Oxygen Mask First Before Others
We have all heard this saying while flying to some lovely destination. But, have we actually listened to it metaphorically?
If we haven’t taken care of ourselves first, as Moms, then we won’t be able to take care of anyone else.
Let’s soak that in and hear what that really means.
Unless we take care of ourselves first, we will be of no use to our child(ren) (family). I say that because in order to provide the needs of our children and family, we need to be at our best. Being our best means being a well-rested, stress free (will this ever happen, I don’t know), emotionally tolerable Mom. This healthy state of mind will give us the ability to tackle anything that comes our way as a Mom.
I know, you are rolling your eyes as you read this. You are thinking this will never happen in your life. I understand and will say that at times in our lives we will never be at our best, but it’s a good life lesson to strive for. It’s just to create the idea in our minds as Moms to always remember and give better thought to taking care of ourselves.
We need to switch our mindset as Moms and stop being so judgmental towards other Mothers.
Let’s be honest, Moms are afraid to be judged. Moms feel If they aren’t doing all that they can for everyone else, others will see them as selfish. For some reason being selfish is a dirty word. I don’t mind saying that I enjoy being selfish every now and again. Being selfish at times is not a bad thing. If you are running on fumes and not taking care of yourself, then you will not be a great mom for your child and family.
Take that oxygen mask and give life to yourself first. Now is the time to discover the feeling of taking care of you.
Step 2: Do Anything, Just as Long as It’s for Yourself and About Yourself
Find what you love doing. Whether it’s gardening, reading or jogging, it should be geared to your likes. Otherwise, everyone will want to join you.
Do not feel guilty. Remember, this is about you and no one else.
I like to rejuvenate my mind and body at the day spa. I plop myself down by the pool, make use of all the amenities while reading a good book and just soak it all in. I treat myself to a massage and sometimes I take a snooze in the quiet room. Having a 16 month old makes it hard to read a book, so I take advantage of this time to read and relax. I soak up every minute. But, remember it doesn’t have to be a day at the spa. It could simply be a walk, quiet time for 30 minutes, just something to help you replenish and give yourself a break.
The personal “Me” time rejuvenates my soul. It fills my cup back up after becoming depleted with all that I give. The end result equates to a full and present Mom ready to get back in the trenches of parenthood. I describe the feeling similar to taking a breath. Every now and then in order to keep moving along as Moms, we need to stop, breathe in and take time to invest back into our own bodies. It’s as simple as that.
Step 3: Find the Time to Be Selfish – and Remember It’s Ok
I want you to block out time for yourself in your calendar, and label it in bold print “Mom’s “Me” Time”. In order for it to happen, you need to plan for it. Each month, discuss with your husband/partner the possible dates and times for your “Me” time and see if those dates work with their schedule. If you are a single parent, reach out to your best friend, sitter or family member. Someone you can trust to watch your child(ren), so you can relax and not call and check in 50 times in 1 hour. You might have to do a little tweaking to make the dates/times work, but it can work if you let it.
Step 4: Action – Just Take It Back!
Now that you have the logistics down, you are probably wondering what you are going to do with yourself. The main objective first is to breathe. At first you might be feeling a little guilty, but as time goes on and you start to enjoy yourself you will love this time and look forward to it each week or month.
In order to discover what you want to do, you might need to do some soul searching. Start thinking of all the hobbies or activities you have been wanting to try, but just haven’t had the time. Maybe you have wanted to try paddle boarding or you have wanted to get to the gym a few times a week? It could be as simple as reading that new book that you haven’t had a chance to put your fingers on. Sit back, get your pumpkin spiced latte and crack open that book you have been itching to read.
Actions always come with a challenge. The first leap to any call of action is to just get started. If you have to, take baby steps. Ease into the process and do what you can. There is no set limit of how much time you should give yourself, so do what you can.
Remember, a happy mama is a happier family. Invest in yourself; you will be so glad you did.
Step 5: Insanity Will Return It You’re Not Selfish
I promise, you will not return home to your family and complain that you had to do something for yourself. You will not complain at the peace and quiet you just enjoyed.
So, what I want you to do is set yourself up for success. Get a game plan so there are no excuses.
Lean on a friend or family member to keep you accountable. Check in with them every now and then for support in this endeavor. They will give you that pep talk that you will need to keep going. More than likely, they are a mom too and understand your struggle.
Remember, this is not a job. Just look at “Me” time as a time for you to be by yourself and recover. Recover from the daily life of kids, demanding jobs, husbands, chores, car pool and the never ending meal planning/cooking.
Now, get out there and start scheduling the dates for your “Me” time. Your family will thank you for it.